A Metropark store.

Metropark named Cynthia T. Harriss chief executive officer, succeeding Renee Bell, who has become president and chief merchandising officer, a new position.

Metropark, a high-energy apparel and accessories chain based in Los Angeles, named Cynthia T. Harriss chief executive officer, succeeding Renee Bell, who has become president and chief merchandising officer, a new position.

This story first appeared in the June 2, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

“The mission before us is growth,” said Harriss, who characterized the chain’s offering as “contemporary, street fashion, which really appeals to a young audience in their 20s to 30s with the element of fashion and trend.” Harriss will run the company and lead the growth initiatives, while Bell will be responsible for Metropark’s merchandising, inventory planning, marketing and e-commerce strategies.

Harriss, a 37-year retail veteran, was also named to the board. She’s a former president of Gap brand, a former president of Disneyland Resorts and a former senior vice president of the Disney Stores, where she helped expand the chain from 140 to 460 stores in North America. Most recently, she was involved in consulting for startups in different sectors.

Metropark has an estimated volume exceeding $100 million. Within its 2,500- to 2,700-square-foot shops in malls, the chain on weekends often stages art and fashion shows and has DJs energizing the setting. “With our recent rapid growth to 69 stores and an emerging e-commerce business, we are investing in management and infrastructure for future expansion as we build our brand,” said Orv Madden, chairman and founder of Metropark, and part of the investor group that owns the chain. “During 2011, we expect to open up to 10 new stores and relaunch our Web site and e-commerce site with enhanced features and capabilities.”

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